I pray everyday (yeah, though my actions make it seem otherwise, I’m not an atheist) thanking for all I have, in contrast to those people who have near to nothing.
Though I live as if I were in a 1st world country, I live in a 3rd world. That allows me to see poverty from a closer point of view. Ever since a little kid I felt a great sadness in my heart for all the poverty around.
When I was a kid and a small teenager I would preach in family or school meetings about how we are spoiled by gifts and parties. When I was 14 I joined a group in the local catholic church* that took assistance to poor families, not only in giving them foods, clothes & other goods and preaching, but also formal education and help in getting freed from addictions like alcohol, drugs and gambling. We also helped gathering donations for places like orphanages and houses that assisted children with cancer.
In this group, I had one of the most painful lessons ever: that people are only charitable in the few days of November and December that come before Christmas. For the rest of the year, they don’t think about the needy, if they think about the needy at all. For me, a 14/15-year-old idealist, it was a shock seeing that people didn’t think like me on this subject.
Though I’m not in that group anymore, I’m still an idealist. I also want to attack this bad from its root. Those people don’t have a rich Christmas like us because they are poor. They are poor because they don’t have money, and that comes from not having a good job. So far, these things have been the most obvious possible. Now, in order to give them not only a better Christmas, but a better life, they need better jobs, and for them to get it, they need better formal education. Sure, they’ll need security, health and money that must come from somewhere else for that. But education is a key point. I say so because my father invested huge amounts of time and money educating more people than I could count, and these were people who lived in misery. He made it with the sole objective of giving those people a better life, and he was almost 100% efficient in achieving it. Now all of those people acknowledge him as nearly their father too. I intend to do exactly the same. I believe that’s what I was born for.
Sorry for a long, kinda off-topic post. I just felt like putting this out because I was touched by the topic. I get all gloomy and talky whenever people talk about poverty in the world or when I see misery.
Back to topic, these last few months I helped an old beggar to get his remedies and go back to his hometown (though he keeps coming back) and payed his meals in a restaurant. A woman helped him getting some documents he needed for retirement, since he had the right to one for all the time he worked. He’s only a beggar because ever since he lost his last job decades ago he never got another one. Less personally, I also made a few small donations to charity groups and gave away a few clothes, new and old, that I had.
- Yeah, I know, I’ve made lots of attacks against the church so far. But I must also acknowledge that in the lower levels of the church there is a minority of people who does get into action towards doing good to this world. Those are the people I respect and share bread and labor with.
Edit: Eva, just for having the conscience and heart that you have, you surely are a person full of light.